Hiya folks thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.
What made you decide that music is a thing for you?
2005. A suburb on the outskirts of Wexford Town. I had my first encounter with the Weird Al Ultimate Video Collection DVD. Before this, I grew up around a lot of the music my dad listened to – Jeff Buckley, Tom Waits, J. Giles Band, Adam Sandler – but, as an eight-year-old, Weird Al broke all of my ribs and shone a hiwatt torch of pure lucidity directly into my eyes. The first time I heard Smells Like Teen Spirit was through his parody and I was like, woah. Never heard anything like it at that point in my life. So yeah. Weird Al.
Introduce us to all to the members and your musical history?
I’m Andrew. Conall & I split guitar and vocal duties. Rob plays bass and Aaron does the boom de clap. We all live in Dublin. We’re Stupid Son and for all of us, this is our first serious original band playing songs we wrote collaboratively. Regarding musical history, I can’t speak for the rhythm unit, but Conall got the lead role in his school musical and I used to sing a ruthless soprano in my primary school choir, so we were obviously bred to rock. As a band, we’ve been together since 2018.
What was life like for you before music?
Sullen outletless teenager. Cliché.
What was the first song you heard that steered you into a music path?
The aforementioned near-spiritual Weird Al experience. From that point on, the young Andrew based a pretty sizeable chunk of his personality on Kurt Cobain, as I’m sure most tween/teen boys so. The first instrument I properly picked up (aside from some ill-fated piano lessons between ages 7-9 that left me with a permanent, festering disdain for Good King Wenceslas, objectively the worst and most needlessly complex Christmas carol ever) was bass guitar. I heard Sliver and figured I could play that. So I did.
Where do you feel you currently sit within the music industry?
Quark level. We were very busy and productive for the first few years of our existence, then the pandemic hit and totally derailed us. This is our first time releasing any original music since 2020, so even though it feels like we’re starting from scratch momentum-wise, we’re a lot more confident with our songwriting and performance.
Whats the biggest thing you have learned from someone else in the industry?
Dean Ween’s exegesis on electric guitar placement relative to strap length and groin.
If you could wish for one thing to aid your career what would it be?
One of those high-tech auto-tuning Gibson Firebird X electric guitars for Conall. He tunes his guitar like you punch in dreams. And he tunes all the strings – go figure!
What was the worst experience on stage?
Personally, shambling through my teenage band’s third woeful Nirvana cover back in 2012 and hearing someone from the audience loudly groan “Another Nirvana song???”. Ironically, we’re now best friends, but I yearned for him to be vaporised for a long, long time.
With Stupid Son, I think I speak for all of us when I say it was our first gig. It was my first time playing guitar on stage and we’d only been playing together for maybe two months. With one exception, I’m yet to have a first gig with a new band that hasn’t been white-hot-branded into the core of my conscious thought. Everyone said they loved it but I know they’re lying. There’s also the time I stepped on Rob’s jack lead, toppling the bass amp and knocking the mic out of the kick drum. I can sometimes be a little heavy-handed.
Tell us something about each member that you think people would be surprised about?
Aaron thought that Remus Lupin was an Animagus. Go figure!
What makes you stand out as a band?
Going from what fans have told us, a big part of our appeal is how we consolidate our wide range of influences into our songwriting. All of us listen to a diverse range of artists, with a tonne of different genres, and all of that stuff is articulated through two guitars, bass and drums. Our songwriting style has developed naturally over the years and now it’s cohesive, stylised and generally, good.
I think a lot of the time, it can take a good long while for a band to really develop their sound. We sucked for ages, but we stuck at it. Writing songs is hard. Writing songs with other people is even harder. But it’s incredibly rewarding, and it creates things you legitimately couldn’t on your own, which, artistically, is one of the most exciting and rewarding processes possible. Plus, getting to do it with your best friends is a real treat. Especially after a four-hour rehearsal, where everyone sits in the living room in reverent silence, palms bound to the merciful warmth of a cup of tea.
I hear you have new music, what can you tell us about it.
Dylan’s Brain has been through multiple iterations over the years. I wrote the hook at the end of the song in a different key at about 5am in 2019. The music has slithered through the grease mill so many times now, but that hook at the end and the title have been pretty much constant. Lyrically… I’m not mad keen on over-explaining songs. It’s a fictional manifestation of some very real feelings. It is very personal, even though it’s buried under layers of metaphor and assorted detritus. Tangling up these feelings in a pleonastic lattice is the only way I can safely express them. I’ll leave the interpretation of the “actual” meaning to the discerning Genuis annotator to figure out.
What was the recording process like?
Buttery smooth. We recorded everything with Darragh Hansard in The Orc’s Lair at the start of this Summer. Seven songs in four days. A good bit of goofing about. Suckin’ down some glizzies in the beating Irish sun. Some quality Scooby-Doo impressions that may or may not be released to the world in the coming years. We were pretty well-rehearsed going into it so we knew like 75% of the stuff we were gonna do, which is a good ratio, as it gave us wiggle room to squonk about in the studio with extra tracks and weird stuff.
All of those songs were recorded for our upcoming EP, Comedy. We’re very happy with how everything turned out.
What was the biggest learning curve in writing the new tunes?
Restraint. The desire to constantly add more and more sections to songs is overwhelming. The trinity of songwriting is interesting > dynamic > succinct, and balancing all three is hard.
Would you change anything now its finished?
I’d probably just midi in the drums, bass, and guitars and ChatGPT the lyrics and vocals.
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?
We made a music video for Dylan’s Brain, shot in one day, that you can watch below. We’d also like to point all your readers to our Bandcamp page in this link where you can listen to our music, check out our merch, and get access to other exclusive (free) content like lyrics and our 2020 demo collection.
Dylan’s Brain is the first of three singles from our upcoming EP, Comedy, set for release in early 2024. Singles two and three will be coming out in November and December, respectively.